Primorsko: Walk to the mouth of Ropotamo river

Ropotamo Reserve is located near the town of Primorsko, Bulgаria and has the same name as the passing river. It is part of the larger protected area Ropotamo Ramsar. In addition to the variety of animal and plant species, you can also see many other unusual and rare landmarks: rock formations, archaeological monuments, the Ropotamo river basin, the marsh with the European white water lilies, etc. In this part of our site, I will introduce you the eco path reaching the mouth of the Ropotamo river.

How to reach the mouth of the Ropotamo River near the town of Primorsko – map, route and GPX file  
Download file: Ropotamo_mouth_EN.gpx GPX file

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For planning your visit to the place or accommodation in the nearby settlements, can use the collection of assistive tools – Google Road Map with calculator in km, flights to Bulgaria, rental cars, weather forecast, hotel search, timetables of buses in the region, see this link.

To go in the area of the Ropotamo Reserve, enter the city of Primorsko. After that, you have to go to the North Beach of Primorsko. From there the road continues in the north direction, passing round the deserted Perla residence.

The North beach of Primorsko and the Perla Residence in the distance

Shortly after the exit to the Thracian cliffs – a sanctuary of Beglik Tash, you will reach a lowered barrier:

Ropotamo Reserve – the entrance barrier, which prevents a car entry

The distance from the North beach of Primorsko to the boundary is about 4.2 km. Therefore it is preferable to take it by car, or bike considering that the road is asphalted. The pedestrian route to the mouth of the river is about 2 km and height difference 85 m. Because of the fact, that the path is vast and asphalted – no touristic clothing is required. So it would be enough to take water and a photo camera with you.

Protection of the Ropotamo Reserve

From the lowered barrier is the entry into the Reserve, and that requires the observance of specific rules: forbidden lighting a fire, camping, plant cutting, passage on unmarked paths, disturbing of wild animals, etc. More information about other bans and activity mode can be read (in the Bulgarian language) on the placed signs in the Reserve.

One of the signs with a map and the rules that you should observe on the territory of the Reserve

One of the signs with a map and the rules that you should observe on the territory of the Reserve

The beautiful nature of Primorsko – reserve Ropotamo

The forest is lovely consisting of deciduous trees – mainly Italian oak (Quercus frainetto), Virgil’s oak (Querceta virgiliana) and pubescent oak (Quercus pubescens). You can hear the song of many birds, and sometimes you can meet deers on the road, which is an extra chance to take interesting photos. On the way to the mouth you will pass by an exit leading to another exciting place – the wild bay “St. Paraskeva”. This is another way to reach it, different than the path starting from the Thracian cliffs – sanctuary Beglik Tash.

The asphalt road leading to the mouth of the Ropotamo River
View to the deciduous forest

The mouth of Ropotamo river

You will soon reach the estuary. The two banks of the river are covered with dense natural forests. There are also dunes and many rising rocks from the sea. These rocks gave the name of the cape – Skombolitos, coming from the Greek words” κομπολ” and” λιθος “, respectively “rosary “and “stone “, and in translation there is a “rosary of rocks”. Among them, the most unusual is the rock sponge in front of the mouth. It is also the endpoint for boat trips along the river.

The mouth of Ropotamo river, Primorsko, Bulgaria
The mouth of the Ropotamo river
The mouth of Ropotamo and fishing boat, that goes in the sea
The rock sponge in the right corner of the photo at the mouth of the river
View of the estuary from the opposite shore
View of the estuary from the opposite shore. How to get there without swimming across the river can be seen here
Numerous rising rocks gave the name of the cape Skombolitos
Map of the coast around the mouth of Ropotamo river.

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Beach stripes near the mouth of Ropotamo

Around the Capes Skombolitos and St. Dimitar there are small and very charming sandy stripes. The idea of putting their towels on the beach seems appealing to some tourists. In some guides, these places are called “beaches”. It is a common practice for visitors in the summer to combine the walk with a beach stay.

Unfortunately, because the beach stripes are part of Ropotamo reserve, according to the rules in it, stay for bathing and sunbathing of these places is forbidden.

The sandy stripe around the mouth, near to Skombolitos Cape
The sandy stripe around the mouth, near to Cape Skombolitos
The sandy stripe between Cape Skombolitos and Cape St. Dimitar
The sandy stripe between Cape Skombolitos and Cape St. Dimitar
Cape St. Dimitar
Cape St. Dimitar
A warning board (in Bulgarian) informing that the stay for bathing and sunbathing is forbidden.

Fishing activity near the estuary

In autumn or spring, many fishing boats come from the near towns: Primorsko, Sozopol, Bourgas and Pomorie. They stop at the mouth of the river but throw nets in the nearby Kendinar Bay. That bay in their words was very rich in fish, but it is dangerous because it is opened in the northern quarter. The name Kendinar originates from the Greek word for danger – κινδυνος.

Fishing boats moored at the estuary of Ropotamo river in the autumn

The fishers also make fish traps (in Bulgarian – “dalyan”) between the mouth of the river and Cape St. Dimitar. As a result, they catch the coastal schools of fish.

Fishing boats nearby the fishing traps
Pulling the nets from the fish trap (“dalyan”)

It is better to know that wild bays Kendinar, Vaterachi, Kalamitsi, Jack Fersine, Fluru and Cape Korakya are forbidden to be visited by land because there are no marked and allowed paths for reaching them. Therefore it can only be watched from the sea.

Historical note

In the antiquity, at this place, there was a significant port complex named “Hersonessos”. At that time, the complex included all the bays on the peninsula from the mouth of the river to the Cape “Maslen nos”.

At the present time, from the mouth of Ropotamo river to Cape St. Dimitar on the sea bottom with the help of divers were found many clay vessels and anchors since the late antiquity till the Middle Ages. You can see some of them in the museums of Primorsko, Kiten and Varna.

Later, in the Middle Ages, the harbour was named “Orispotamo”, (in greek ορισ ποταμό) which translation is the “Border River” and is related to the border between Bulgaria and Byzantium that was passing through these lands. This name subsequently changed to Ropotamo. According to experts, the rise of the sea level, an impact of surf and a falling of coast caused sinking of the port. That happened in the later medieval centuries. As a result, the place became deserted and wild.

Continue the walk

For the other paths and landmarks in Ropotamo Reserve – look at the attached here map.

In conclusion, if you are planning a more extended stay in the area, it is a good idea to choose Primorsko. It has many hotels and lodgings and can offer many entertainments to diversify your Holliday at Bulgarian Black sea.

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